Inͤniti Malls Looking to Grow Portfolio, Spread to Delhi-NCR
Mukesh Kumar, Senior VP, Infiniti Mall, believes in merging technology with infrastructure retail through Omnichannel concepts like click-and-pick, POSbased loyalty programs, and brand promotions.
Gone are the days when going to a mall meant simply a day out shopping. Today, a mall is synonymous to a community hub, a place to spend time with the family, to relax, indulge in fun and games, eat great food and occasionally shop some. One brand which provides all these options to its patrons – and much more – is Inͤniti Mall.
While the mall’s primary responsibility is to provide premium service, ambience, amenities, and a secure and comfortable environment to guests, Mukesh Kumar, Senior VP, Inͤniti Malls,believes in merging technology with infrastructure retail through Omnichannel concepts like clickand-pick, POS-based loyalty programs, and brand promotions at customer’s ͤnger tips.
In an exclusive interview with Shopping Centre News Bureau, Kumar revealed Inͤniti’s Omnichannel plans, the stress on Phygital retail and their expansion plans…
Describe the journey of Inͤniti Malls.
The ͤrst-ever Inͤniti Mall was launched in 2004 at Andheri (W) when the shopping mall trend in India had just begun. We were probably the second in Mumbai with multiple retail stores covering almost all categories including Cinema, Electronics, Food & Grocery, Books, Fashion, Spa, Footwear and Food. It was a compact and cozy mall and attracted people from Bandra to Borivili. The mall attracted huge footfalls since it offered something for everyone. Seeing the great success and growing demand of our patrons, we launched our second mall at Malad. This mall is much larger in terms of area and has more international brands across various categories. Though both the malls are in the same city and not far apart, we have ventured into two different arenas of consumers in terms of brands, marketing and operations.
How is the USP of Inͤnti Andheri different from Malad?
Whilst both the malls are a great mix of fashion, lifestyle, food and entertainment, they differ in-terms of location and target consumer. A convenient connectivity by road, metro and train makes Inͤniti Mall at Andheri a preferred destination for the younger crowd and family whereas Millennials prefer venturing to Inͤniti Mall Malad because of a wider variety of brands across various categories. Inͤniti Mall, Andheri is promoted more as a neighborhood mall whereas Malad is more of a regional center. Having said that, both the malls are good choices for all age groups, all members of a family.
Inͤniti Mall was one of the ͤrst few malls that decided to go Omnichannel. How has been the outcome so far?
We are among the ͤrst few malls in India that planned to launch a ‘click-and-collect’ model covering almost all stores present within. We also plan to launch a more enhanced customer friendly loyalty program where earning and burning points will happen at the POS itself.
Give us examples of ways in which you have gone Omnichannel.
Our Omnichannel module is going through a ͤnal test, a ͤnal dry run. The customer will have a choice of blocking the product online from the entire inventory of the store and picking it from the store offline. The loyalty program is a customer friendly platform that bids more than just shop and gain points. It provides a complete map of our latest offers and promotions to the patrons that allows them to shop in much more convenient way. We have taken a step forward and soon it will be available at the POS of multiple retail units offering earning and burning points in real time.
Stores are increasingly going digital - taking the e-commerce route to make sure their products have a wider reach. Are you comfortable with your retailers advertising their e-commerce portals in their shops inside your mall?
We are an offline model, we believe touch-and-feel model is the best shopping experience for customers. We agree stores are increasingly advertising their e-commerce portals in their shops to make sure their products have a wider reach and hence we are developing our Omnichannel model that is click and order to get a better customer experience under one roof. Any online promotions from the offline stores are generally restricted.